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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Soil carbon and deer damage among projects funded in Victoria

Joint media release
20 November 2008

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Projects to investigate soil carbon and reduce the damage caused by feral deer herds are among 16 projects in Victoria to share in more than $28.5 million from the Rudd Government to protect Australia’s environment and promote sustainable farming. 

Details of the Victorian projects to be funded under the Caring for our Country Open Grants were announced today by Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke.

The Open Grants funding is part of the $2.25 billion earmarked for the first five years of Caring for our Country, launched in July this year.

Mr Garrett said the projects, ranging from $80,000 to $400,000, would lead to significant environmental benefits and advances in land management practices in all states and territories.

“Through Caring for our Country, the Government is taking a comprehensive, targeted and integrated approach to natural resource management funding, encouraging organisations to work together to deliver on national priorities,” Mr Garrett said.

“Many of the organisations funded through this Open Grants scheme look beyond their local environmental issues to link up with others to deliver better environment and land management practices on a larger scale.

“The Protection of sustainable farming and biodiverse ecosystems project from East Gippsland, for example, is a joint effort from many organisations including conservation groups, non-government organisations, state government agencies, local governments, the catchment management authority, farmers and community members.

“The project aims to reduce and control the impact of feral deer on the highly sensitive ecosystems in grassy woodlands and warm, temperate rainforests of East Gippsland.”

Agribusiness Gippsland has also been allocated funding for a pilot project looking at soil carbon storage.

Both Ministers said climate change and other pressures such as invasive weeds and pests emphasised the need for the government to work in partnership with communities to help ensure the future of Australia’s environment and farming industries. 

Of the 137 Open Grants projects funded across Australia, 72 projects worth $14.4 million specifically address sustainable farm practices and Landcare.

“Australia’s farmers know the value of our precious natural resources and are expert at using those resources wisely,” Mr Burke said.

“This funding will help to ensure they continue their good work, including through partnerships with other community groups.

“For example, one of the Victorian projects will assist farmers in the Upper Wimmera region to learn more about perennial pastures.

“Many farmers are now switching to deep-rooted perennial pastures, which can improve the environment through increased water use efficiency; decreased run-off and soil erosion; less salinity; improved soil health and a reduction in weeds.”

Further information and a full listing of successful grants is available at 


Project Title Group Funding

Reducing Wild Dog Impacts on Agriculture through Enhanced Community Participation

Wild Dog Management Groups


Farming for a Sustainable Future - Demonstrating Best Farm Practices

Lake Wellington Landcare Network


East Gippsland Soil Carbon Project - Pilot Project

Agribusiness Gippsland Inc


Compost Use in Sustainable Agriculture

William Grant


Improving the Efficacy of Hydrogen Phosphide (Ph3) Fumigation for Rabbit Control

Frank Gigliotti


Development of Multi-Dose Ejector for the Control of Foxes

Frank Gigliotti


Project Title Group Funding

Establishing Sustainable Perennial Pastures Systems in the Upper Wimmera Catchment

Project Platypus Association Incorporated


Conservation Management Networks in Gippsland: Protection of Sustainable Farming and Biodiverse Ecosytems

East Gippsland Rainforest Conservation


Strzelecki Warm Temperate Rainforest Restoration - Macks Creek Catchment

Grand Ridge Plantations Pty Ltd


Gunbower Creek Riparian and Aquatic Habitat Reconnection and Restoration Project

North Central Catchment Management Authority


Wedderburn Restoration for Malleefowl and Woodland Birds

Wedderburn Conservation Management Network


Strategic Vegetation Linkages on the East Gippsland Red Gum Plains

Department of Sustainability and Environment


Improving Biodiversity Outcomes in Existing Remnant Protection/Revegetation Sites

Maffra & Districts Landcare Network


"Strengthening Bioregional Landscape Connectivity in the Mid-Loddon Sub-Catchment"

Mid-Loddon Sub-Catchment Group


Strengthening Northern Melbourne's Merri Corridor for Flora, Fauna and People.

Merri Creek Management Committee Inc


Saving Critically Endangered Grassland on the Victorian Volcanic Plain

Department of Sustainability and Environment


Commonwealth of Australia